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Channel Partners do not do social!

I have heard them all. Every excuse in the book. ‘Our partners don’t even use social media,’ ‘They don’t bother with that new fangled stuff,’ or ‘They have got by without it so far so why bother?’

Whilst this sort of reasoning may stem from genuine belief, sadly such excuses are unfounded.

Channel partners always have grown their business through their contacts. They are the real ‘networkers’. Very few undertake lead generation campaigns but most focus on meeting and talking to ‘contacts’, be it from using a Rolodex, or attending local networking events. So the only difference today is the vehicle of getting that oh so important message across.

In fact the transition from Rolodex to social networking happened a while back and burying your (aka ‘the vendor’) head in the sand will only ensure that is where you will stay. Today channel partners have not just 100s but 1000s or even 10,000s of contacts, locally, nationally or even worldwide. The vast majority have LinkedIn accounts (the most popular network for B2B channel partners) as well as Twitter and Facebook business pages, connecting themselves to virtually every corner of the globe.

Every time prospective customers ask us to check how many of their partners have social media accounts, we are always staggered by the huge numbers we encounter… and this is true for whatever part of the world we look at – not only the US or the UK, but also Poland, Turkey, Brazil, Mexico, or Australia/ New Zealand. Certainly more contacts than any Rolodex could ever hope to hold.

What does all this mean? Channel partners are ‘social’ or are ready to ‘go social’. Social media is where business is done today, this is where contacts are made, fostered and developed; they know that! The question is are you ready to see beyond the excuses, roll up your sleeves and properly commit to it or are you content to continue to act the ostrich?

True – the majority of partners are struggling to create and publish good content to share on their social networks. Like most of us busy people, they sadly have little time to spend sifting through content from vendors for valuable tid-bits to pass on.

The good news is, it's no longer a challenge to fix these issues.  Using innovative channel social media tools you can now leverage the trust that exists between your channel partners and their contacts, and turn your ‘rich marketing content’ into social media leads for your channel partners.

Olivier Choron, CEO and Founder, purechannelapps.